Why we came here is a question that often eludes the sensible or practical answers we construct…

There are the easy answers that satisfy the questions from many:

“It is pretty conveniently located between Charlottesville and Richmond”

“The five acres were pristine and the house had a lot of charm”

“We loved all the big old cedars and maples”

But then there are the answers that defy sense or ‘real’ world thinking.

“The farm drew us in”

“We were meant to come here to do this”

“There was a missing piece in our lives…then we found it here.”

What is our purpose on the Farm?

We offer opportunities to individuals, families, and groups to obtain new skills.

With whom do we work?

We welcome school groups of all ages and adult or professional groups looking for a unique place to solve issues or grow ideas.

Do we use a particular teaching methodology?

Our method is Respect. We believe that this simple action of respecting the children and adults sums up our method.

What is Montessori Education?

Montessori education was developed by Dr. Maria Montessori over the long course of her life observing children around the world. Her work has been described as ‘revolutionary’ by educational theorists and is often emulated in programs without reference. Some consider her the first environmental educator. Montessori’s premise was that individuals can better themselves, their situation, and the world by identifying the obstacles to growth. Montessori trained educators carefully observe students in order to discover what these obstacles to development may be then they craft the environment or lessons to address the issues at hand.

Montessori used the term ‘Erdkinder’ to describe the adolescent. This individual is a social newborn, a ‘child of the earth’ who is experiencing life in a community in a wholly new way. Montessori invented the word using German out of respect for the centuries old land-school movement at work in Germany during and prior to her time. Practitioners use the term to describe the community of adolescents living and working together in a real setting experiencing first hand the emergence of human societies tied to agricultural realities.

How are we aligned? Accredited?

The AMI is the Association Montessori Internationale Internationale, the organization established by Dr. Maria Montessori in 1929 in order to protect the integrity of her life work.  The AMI is the only international recognition organization for Montessori programs and is the international leader in Montessori research and professional development.  Both Elizabeth and Robert hold diplomas from training centers accredited by the A.M.I.

The North American Montessori Teacher’s Association (www.montessori-namta.org) is the pre-eminent professional organization in the United States offering workshops, conferences, and supporting research related to Montessori educational theories.  While there is no formal accreditation procedure for programs like ours, you can read about the AMI here: www.amiusa.org

Are we adequately insured?

We carry extensive liability insurance through two different insurers to operate as a full-time school program and to offer workshops and classes to children and adults.  While this does result in the fact that we have some overlapping coverage, we rest more easily knowing that our programs, facility, and safety procedures have been reviewed by two independent underwriters and are reviewed annually. Fortunately, we have never had a claim with either agency.


“Material progress has been extremely rapid. Schools have remained in a kind of arrested development. The reform of secondary schools is a necessary step in the needed reconstruction of society. The practical aim is to improve the individual in order to improve society.”

—Maria Montessori, From Childhood to Adolescence



Fluvanna Review 2015